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Questions tagged [writing-style]

Questions about writing style in English

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At the beginning of a sentence in dialogue that sounds incomplete, should you use an apostrophe?

I'm not sure where I picked up this habit, but I think it might be grammatically incorrect. I'm a fiction writer and have just started working on a new novel, so I want to clear this up before I get ...
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1answer
23 views

When should I use “Figure out the rest” vs “figure the rest out”? Does it matter?

I'm writing something where a character tells someone else vaguely something that that she did in the past and then tacks on "I'll let you figure out the rest" at the end. Then some of the notes of ...
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1answer
26 views

What are the best alternatives to sentence structure “A, but B; therefore C?”

I'm stuck in a rut. Today I wrote, "I planned to reboot my computer once a week, but an update forced it, so I left it up the rest of that week." I feel like I use that structure too much, but that's ...
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2answers
22 views

What do humanitarian sciences refer to?

When to use humanitarian sciences and human sciences in contrast? According to my uni materials, humanitarian sciences should have something to do with scientific function style of texts.
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0answers
19 views

“excited by the opportunity to” [on hold]

Is this sentence grammatically correct? Does it sound natural to native speakers? "I am excited by the opportunity to pursue specific academic, clinical, and research experiences at Yale to transform ...
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0answers
14 views

dc-biased circuit or d.c.-biased?

For professional/academic writing, I wonder if the compound adjective "dc-biased" should, according to standard style rules, be hyphenated. I am a bit confused by the fact that dc itself is an ...
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0answers
38 views

Why are English language essays written in past tenses?

As we are studying English from the nursery the thing that always confuses me is that whenever we write an essay it should be in past tenses and I always find difficulty in writing essays that way. I ...
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0answers
11 views

Is there a style guideline for the maximum number of clauses in a sentence?

Do any of the major style guides make recommendations for the maximum number of clauses in a sentence? Or does this need to be done on a case-by-case basis? Based on my understanding the following ...
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0answers
26 views

Correct way to reference sub bullet list [closed]

d. Include documentation of rating ______ i. Show rating of ______ ii. Include overall ______ 1. Provide relevant documentation ______ In the example above, how would the last 3 ...
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0answers
15 views

Commas after certain expression in sentence beginnings: Should I put a comma after “For simplicity”?

What's better style in Academic writing: A. "For simplicity only the case when the domain is finite is considered in what follows." B. "For simplicity, only the case when the domain is finite is ...
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1answer
54 views

“to whom it may offend” vs. “to whom I may offend” [closed]

In my opening speech, is it right if I say I apologize to whom it may offend" or "I apologize to whom I may offend"
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2answers
71 views

The train just arrived at platform six is the delayed 13.15 from Hereford

The train just arrived at platform six is the delayed 13.15 from Hereford. Q; In the above sentence, I assume "13.15" means hour and minute. But do you think writing hour and minute like this ...
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1answer
35 views

“Washington biographer” or “Washington's biographer”

Which of the following is correct? Washington biographer Ron Chernow says... Washington's biographer Ron Chernow says... The only difference that comes to mind is that the latter implies ...
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1answer
23 views

Can I use “although” at the beginning of a paragraph?

For instance... "Although it is hot outside, I put my jacket on. I then proceeded to take it on and off, all day long. I am not sure why I did this."
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1answer
15 views

Hyphen/dash 'and'-separated words in the same phrase: is this usage correct?

I have a phrase like this: John enjoys translating economics- and IT- related articles Is this a correct usage of the words economics- and IT- related? I think I saw such method of joining ...
2
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1answer
36 views

If a speaker clearly emphasizes a word or a term, should it be written down in quotation marks?

If a speaker clearly emphasizes a word or a term, should it be written down in quotation marks? e.g. Everyone's so intimidated by "big data."
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1answer
26 views

Does it need quotation marks on abstract nouns

I know for sure it needs quotation marks on verbs do, love and etc, in following sentence: Human related actions like "do", "love", "hate", "sacrifice", and so on. Because it would not be right ...
2
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0answers
77 views

New Yorker “Who”/“Whom”

Has The New Yorker changed its "who"/"whom" policy? Recently, I noticed--for the first time in fifteen years of more or less consistent readership---two occasions I considered non-standard, both from ...
2
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3answers
68 views

Should I use a capital letter after a code example? [closed]

I often write documentation related to code and it is normally in a similar format to the following: You will be able to run this code: <code> <moreCodeyStuff> .....
2
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1answer
51 views

Opening and closing a letter - is there a name for this style?

Sorry if this isn’t the right place for this question, but I’ve Googled high and low and found nothing. I’ve noticed that some letters start and close with handwriting, e.g. “Dear Mrs Smith” and “...
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1answer
18 views

Correct way to bold/italicize list of items [closed]

I am wondering if I were to embolden or italicize a list of items separated by comma, should I just stylize the individual items, or also including the commas (and possibly "and")? Example 1: I ...
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1answer
18 views

Media writing: beginning sentences with coordinating conjunctions

I understand that in many contexts it is appropriate to begin a sentence with a coordinating conjunction, and I am aware that variations of this question have been asked here many times. Mine, however,...
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2answers
54 views

What is the correct usage of hyphens with ranges (as in “a 5 to 10 minute rest”)?

I'm having issues with figuring out which is correct: "The teacher told the students to take a 5 to 10 minute rest." "The teacher told the students to take a 5-to-10 minute rest." "The teacher told ...
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1answer
64 views

What is the history of the cursive p?

A friend of mine (relevant detail, he grew up and learned cursive in India) recently remarked to me that he missed the way that cursive "p"s used to be written. An example of this can be seen in the ...
2
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1answer
87 views

'Amidst of' vs. 'Amidst'

I'm reading 'The Well at the World's End' by William Morris. I'm curious about some of the syntax he's used to invoke an archaic style. For instance, 'amidst of': '. . . he came on a shepherd lying ...
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2answers
14 views

Difficulty understanding Writing Prompt

I do not understand what the person means by ampliative and reductive aspects and conditions for transparency and embodiment? I looked up the definitions but I don't understand what their context ...
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1answer
35 views

Are there any guidelines for proper use of “creative” capitalization within in a technical report?

I am trying to edit a report that seems to have a lot of common nouns capitalized. My job is to edit for consistency of this style, which I am not familiar with. Does anyone have experience with what ...
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1answer
47 views

When can I omit *the* from certain prhases?

After reviewing an interesting question and answer here: Is 'at the time of writing' correct?, I'm wondering if I couldn't do something more simple: At time of writing, this is all that has ...
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2answers
62 views

When the title is in the form of a sentence - to capitalize the words or not?

I've heard for a "rule" that you should not capitalize the words in the title of an article, when the title is in the form of a sentence. For example: Pneumonia is contagious. (As opposed to ...
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1answer
26 views

Can а verb and related noun be used in the same sentence?

Here is a sentence: "Without those measurements, we cannot measure if we are progressing in the right direction." measure is clearly a verb here, but what part of speech is measurement? (abstract ...
3
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1answer
64 views

Who started the trend of removing ing from gerunds and what is the motivation? [closed]

I've noticed a trend developing over the past few years where gerunds are being emasculated (cutting off their "ing-alings" by golly!!!) On my credit card's website: "spend analysis" All over the web:...
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1answer
63 views

What's the role of “Opening” in the given excerpt

This is a sentence from a very famous book on learning English called "Headway". "But after making hundreds of millions of dollars opening duty-free shops at airports in the 1960s,Feeney's later ...
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1answer
86 views

What tense in a scientific paper

I am currently writing my first scientific paper and therefore I am wondering which tense I should use in it. I'd tend to use a future tense, but present perfect seems to be suitable as well. e.g. ...
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1answer
51 views

When can I omit the subject?

Can I omit the subject if it has been mentioned in a preceding sentence? For example, is the phrase inside the parentheses necessary in the below?: The sculpture A exhibits degradation at a ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Which punctuation (if any) should accompany the inclusion of Japanese characters in an English text?

I've been told on Japanese SE to rephrase the question and ask it here, since it isn't so much about the Japanese language, as it is about the correct way of including Japanese in the English language....
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0answers
47 views

Juxtaposing (more than) two sentences that can include “and” by using “and”

QUESTIONS: Is the comma used in the below sentence necessary? Is it okay to use different forms or parts of speech for juxtaposed elements? I.g. In the below sentence, a noun "development" and ...
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1answer
26 views

Place to insert an abbreviation

When I put an abbreviation for the first time in a document, is this better if I insert it right after the corresponding spelled out name? For example, is ex1. better than ex2.?: ex1. The ...
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1answer
70 views

Should I use the possessive apostrophe or an attribute noun on a business card?

I have designed some stationary items (such as letterhead and business card) for a website/brand (XYZ.Com for instance), and I need help to choose the correct sentence among those below: The ...
0
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1answer
55 views

non taxable vs non-taxable [duplicate]

Is the correct usage of the non-taxable or nontaxable? I'm not sure what the correct use is. I want to say that it is with the hyphen however it ha become a debate that this could be incorrect.
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3answers
253 views

“Everyone is fine and having fun” or “Everyone is fine and is having fun.”

While both sentences are probably grammatical, I’m wondering which one is preferable. To me, the first sentence sounds awkward, but the second sentence may have an unnecessary is. Basing your answers ...
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1answer
101 views

CMS: The Curious Case of “Because of”

The phrase "because of" is commonly thought of as a preposition; by itself, "because" is also considered by some to be a subordinating conjunction. The Chicago Manual of Style doesn't capitalize any ...
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4answers
857 views

difference between “can do nothing” and “cannot do anything”

Is there any difference between these two sentences I can do nothing to help you. and I cannot do anything to help you. If there isn't any significant difference, are there any cases when ...
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1answer
46 views

Repeating a subject twice - a matter of style or grammar?

Is repeating the subject twice in a sentence considered a grammar error or bad style? For example: Epic Game Music will be held for the first time in Poland at Poznan Game Arena and Game Industry ...
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1answer
31 views

Why people often adopt repeated adjective structure on their sentence?

Why people often adopt repeated adjective structure on their sentence? For example: Great courtiers are gracious and polite; their aggression is veiled and indirect. I have seen many fluent English ...
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4answers
3k views

Is there punctuation for words treated as words?

From today's NY Times: Mr. Trump’s critics reach for words like treason and traitor because they, like others, are searching for an explanation for actions that are so different from those of his ...
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1answer
77 views

How to use semicolons (when listing people’s names and actions)?

I’ve been reading this paragraph: I unlock the bathroom door and pull the handle down, I open it slightly, only to see the face of every family member residing in this house, crowding outside my ...
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0answers
115 views

How to describe 'Mutual Benefits' in academic terms in the following?

I am writing a proposal for a joint collaboration with a University in Singapore. I aim to use their facilities to gain hands-on experience. In the following, the excerpt from my proposal is ...
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2answers
108 views

How to reconstruct a sentence to avoid words like but, yet, still, although and though?

I often find difficult to avoid those words. It'd be fine in articles, essays, etc if it was only because of the repetitiveness, there are three words or more for it, but in longer texts, like novels, ...
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1answer
89 views

Use of made up words in writing

In writing, mainly seen in novel writing, how should we put a word that doesn't exist? for example, "We're screwed beyond levels of screwedness." Please don't tell me that's too unprofessional and I ...
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2answers
63 views

The term “ad hocness”

A strange compound of Latin and English. Reasonably common in epistemology and the philosophy of science. (Academic philosophers are not uneasy at creating new words when the need arises.) Questions: ...